Passaic County Community College
38th Commencement Ceremonies
Thursday, May 20 6:00 PM
CLASS OF 2010
The largest graduating class in PCCC history - 486 students from PCCC’s four campuses – Paterson, Passaic, Wanaque, and Wayne – received their Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees, or their professional certificates, on May 20 at the 38th Commencement.
The theme of the event was “Celebrating Our Diversity,” and in his welcoming remarks, President Steven Rose said, “This graduating class represents 54 nations.” The Class of 2010 also represented every community in Passaic County as well as a wide range of age groups that included two graduates over 60.
The official greeting of the evening was offered by Mr. Bruce James, director of Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders who praised PCCC for the educational options it offers to so many. “For some people, if they don’t have this college, they have no other choice,” said James.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Arnold Speert
Commencement speaker Dr. Arnold Speert the outgoing president of William Paterson University spoke about the changes life brings, both personal and professional, and the importance of rising above challenging circumstances, such as the current recession. “You now have the ability to not just cope with, but also influence things like that,” he told the graduates.
Valedictorian: Mercci Gonzalez
(A.S. Business Administration)
Mercci Gonzalez, a Passaic resident who graduated with a 4.0 average, delivered a valedictory address that drew a standing ovation for its spirited and refreshing message. The winner of numerous academic honors, Gonzalez turned the spotlight on her fellow graduates, acknowledging their less illustrious, but hard-won accomplishments. “When a student works 40 to 60 hours a week, but makes time to study for an exam, and passes the exam with flying colors, that’s impressive. When an ESL student who did not speak English as a first language, stands up in front of a class and presents a business plan, that’s impressive,” she affirmed, drawing cheers with each declaration.
In his official charge to the Class of 2010, Dr. Rose commended them for their decision to come to college. In a world that offers few “sure things,” the president said, “There is one sure thing. When you came to PCCC, you invested in yourself, and that’s a great investment.”
Class of 2010: Highlights
- Meet Valedictorian Mercci Gonzalez
- Ricardo Garcia: Ability by Degrees
- Retiree Gets Her Degree
- Grads Returned to College After an Absence
- 2010 Graduates
- Graduate Awards 2010
- Nurse Pinning Ceremony